What to do When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury claim form on tablet with glasses, coffee, computer, smartphone, and day planner

If you are involved in an accident in which another person is at-fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The injury claims process in Florida is quite complex and may be troubling to people who are unfamiliar with the law. This is why it is so crucial to hire a Florida attorney who is well-versed in this facet of the law.

Statute of Limitations

In the state of Florida, you have four years to file your personal injury claim. However, if you intend to file a claim against the government, you have only three years to do it. There are very few exceptions to this rule. The court will likely not hear your case if you bring it about after the statute of limitations has passed unless you have a poignant extenuating occurrence. One such circumstance could be a late discovery. For example, the diagnosis of a disease that couldn't have been uncovered during the statute of limitations time period.

Illuminating Negligence

In order to illustrate the defendant’s negligence, you need to demonstrate that they were responsible for your care, failed to uphold that responsibility, which in-turn prompted your damage.

Seek Medical Care

Do this right away. In order to receive compensation, it is your duty to alleviate your damages. It is required for you to do all that is possible toward gaining the treatment you need. It’s crucial that you retain and organize all records and documents relating to medical care for reimbursement.

Employ an Experienced Attorney

Florida is a unique state in terms of the law. It is vital you hire a lawyer that knows Florida history, can clearly communicate the choices available to you, is aware of the local legal conditions, and is highly experienced. Paul A. Shapiro of Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. is well-equipped with over 25 years of experience to handle personal injury cases in the state of Florida.

Call Your Insurance Company

Since Florida is a no-fault state, the courts are not typically concerned with car accident lawsuits. The exception is when there are catastrophic injuries involved.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance may help recover some of your losses sustained as a result of your injury, but only up to a particular point, which is usually $10,000. Your personal health insurance will likely kick in once you reach your PIP insurance limit.

Not only your insurance company must be notified, but the defendant’s should also be made aware of a claim. Your attorney will probably do this for you. It is a good idea to elude recorded statements with insurance companies whenever possible. Since insurance companies are in the business of making money, it is in their best interest to close claims any way they can. If they have to use your own words against you in order to do so, they will not hesitate. Similarly, always have your attorney look over all documents that require your signature before you put that pen to paper.

Retain a Post-Accident Logbook

Use this to stay on top of medical expenses and appointments. Keep a detailed record of your thoughts and concerns. Timing can become muddy after an accident, so it is helpful to have thorough information when you need it. Keeping a logbook allows you to record all your injuries, medications, medical care, and any complications you experience along the way. Not only is this practice therapeutic; it also allows the court and claims adjusters to get a better idea of what has been going on with you as a result of the accident.

Record, Retain, and Organize All Relevant Expenses

It’s not always easy to keep track of your bills, reports, and medical judgments in their entirety, but this is extremely important for your case. In order to receive reimbursement for these expenses, you must have solid proof of them.

Be sure to keep all of your hard copies in one place so you can easily pull them up when needed. Do the same for all of your electronic documents. Your organization skills are of the utmost importance here.

Organize the Demand Letter

Your lawyer will write the demand letter and deliver it to the insurance company. All relevant materials will be included with the letter, such as medical bills, all records, lost wages evidence, receipts, and any other related expenses. A settlement demand will also be submitted as well as a response time limit, which is typically 30 days.

Reaching a Settlement

Once the aforementioned documents have been submitted, the insurance company may reject the demand completely, or they may play hard to get. It is also possible for them to settle right away, which is the worst-case scenario because it means they were likely willing to pay out much more money than they were asked for. A trial will only happen if a settlement cannot be reached outside of court. The better option is always to settle out of court because trial fees become quite costly.

Attorney Paul A. Shapiro brings the personal aspect back to personal injury. Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. clients receive individualized care directly from Paul Shapiro. His experience coupled with his unique one-on-one approach make him the ideal personal injury attorney in the Tallahassee region.

Call Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. today at (850) 629-7226 for a free consultation.

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